This cake tastes like winter. I’m writing this as I look out the window at bright skies and a forecast of 50-plus degrees here in Michigan this weekend, but I made this a couple days ago when there was still snow on the ground and the sun was nowhere to be found.
But this cake is the ultimate wintertime dessert. It’s cozy, served toasty in a cast iron skillet. Top it with some whipped cream or a rich scoop of ice cream for a supreme comfort-food experience. Use it to warm yourself up on a cold day!
The spices only add to the caramel decadence: cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves…
This recipe is based on one from Food 52’s book Baking. Food 52 is a company that believes “that if you want to eat better, and you want to help change our food system, you need to cook. Maybe not all the time, but some. You don’t have to eat local foods every day; you don’t have to shop at the farmers market every week. But it’s a good try.”
Food 52 brings together many chefs and bakers to publish all kinds of great recipes on their site and also to publish cookbooks every so often. The one I’m reviewing today is Baking and it features 60 unique recipes, mostly sweet but some savory too.
What I like about this book is its focus on wholesome recipes that aren’t overly sweet or call for obscene amounts of butter. Many of the recipes are fruit-based and ask for natural ingredients or alternative sweeteners — like molasses in the recipe I’m sharing today.
There are tons of unique baking recipes in this book that I’m excited to try: no-knead thin pizza crust, molasses oatmeal rolls, olive oil ricotta cake with plums, black sesame cupcakes with matcha buttercream, coconut tres leches… And what’s great is all the recipes were made with the home cook in mind — none of the recipes are complicated and there are plenty of tips written into the recipes.
I would highly recommend this book for someone looking to experiment in baking or for someone looking for more wholesome baking recipes.
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- ¼ cup slivered or sliced almonds
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 10 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1. Make the Caramel: Preheat oven to 350F. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, place all the caramel ingredients. Heat in the oven for about five minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and whisk the ingredients until uniform.
- 2. Make the Cake: Toast the almonds on a pie tin in the oven for about 7 minutes, or until golden brown.
- 3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and all the spices.
- 4. In a medium or small skillet, heat the butter, brown sugar and molasses. Whisk occasionally until the butter is completely melted. Add the whole milk and vanilla and continue to whisk until the mixture is uniform. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
- 5. Pour the batter into the cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Tastes best warm.